FAQ | School of Visual Communication Design | Kent State University


How do I make an advising appointment?

Schedule an advising appointment online. This link is also available on the Resources section of this website.

Where are you located on campus?

The School of Visual Communication Design is located in the Art Building, on the west side of campus. The School office is in room 231, on the south side of the building. Find the Art Building on a map of the Kent campus. The School address is 400 Janik Drive, Kent, Ohio 44242.

Where do your students live?

Students can select from a variety of housing options including the CCI Commons, a Living/Learning Community in Olson Hall. The CCI Commons allows residents to live with students from the other schools within College of Communication and Information. Students who are enrolled in the Honors College can choose to live in either Stopher or Johnson Hall. Olson, Johnson and Stopher halls are located in close proximity to the VCD classrooms in the Art Building. There are many other residence halls on campus. To learn more visit the Residence Services website.

What are the strengths of your program? Why should I go here, rather than other schools?
The Faculty

VCD faculty members are leaders in their fields of expertise. They are practicing professional designers, illustrators and photographers who work in print, interaction, motion graphics and environmental graphic design. They work with and for national and international clients including - National Geographic Society, American Greetings, Cleveland Indians Baseball, American Bar Association, United States Postal Service, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Sony, Ameritrade, MCI, Popsicle, Maxwell House, Citibank, Whirlpool, and American Airlines, among others. Our faculty members are leading educators in visual communication having received teaching awards and authored texts on subjects such as web design, design research and information design. Our illustration and photography faculty members have exhibited their work in museums and galleries across the globe.

The School

The School of Visual Communication at Kent State University is consistently cited as one of the top design programs in the United States. It was recently featured as a “Top-Ranked Communications Design School” by the popular “how-to” website, eHow.com. The texts "Becoming a Graphic Designer," by Steven Heller and Teresa Hernandes, and "Rugg’s Recommendations on the Colleges," by Frederick E. Rugg, both name Kent State's School of Visual Communication Design as one of the best in the nation. VCD is also home to Glyphix, an award-winning, student-staffed design firm. Glyphix designs have consistently received honors from the Ad Federation, the American Design Awards and the Interactive Media Awards. The School is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), an achievement that is gained only through a rigorous review process.

The University

Kent State University, through its Kent Core, requires all baccalaureate degree-seeking students to have a strong liberal arts background. Graduates with course work in the liberal arts are attractive to employers because they have developed the necessary skills to adapt to an evolving workplace. Different from attending an art school, a large and comprehensive campus such as Kent State University provides many opportunities for students to engage in extracurricular activities including intercollegiate sports, campus clubs and fraternal organizations. The campus also provides co-curricular activities that provide opportunities for our majors to engage with students and faculty in related fields of study such as global communication, entrepreneurship, advertising and marketing.

How large are VCD classes?

Although Kent State is a large university, students say the School of Visual Communication Design “feels small.” Studio classes of 12–20 students meet for five hours a week. This provides plenty of time for students to get to know both their classmates and professors.

How do freshmen VCD students find an advisor?

VCD majors work with both professional and faculty advisors located in the building where classes are held. Incoming freshmen are encouraged to sign up for Destination Kent State (DKS), a summer program dedicated to freshmen advising and registration. Dates and information for DKS will be sent to all students upon admission to Kent State.

When is the building open? Is it safe?

The Art Building is open 7 a.m. until midnight, seven days a week when school is in session. It is heavily used for classes from 7:30 am – 9 pm, and campus security and maintenance staffs regularly patrol the building after classes end.

How much do class supplies cost?

Required class supplies and equipment vary widely with areas of concentration.


First-year design students are required to buy a Macintosh laptop as well as specific software programs for spring semester. Software manufacturers update their products every 18–24 months, so students will probably need to buy an upgrade before they graduate. Most students find it helpful to have their own printer. A typical price for a Macintosh laptop is $1800. The three primary graphic software packages are bundled and sell for a total of $350. These prices are for products purchased via the KSU Apple Store. Computer requirements.


First-year Photo-Illustration students will need a single lens reflex (D-SLR) camera ranging in price from $1,100 – 2,000. List of suggested cameras


For each studio course, students will need to budget for supplies such as paper, photocopy services, specific drafting and drawing tools, as well as books. In their final year, students construct a portfolio of their work to use when interviewing for employment. The case and reproductions can cost from $200 – 1,000, depending upon the student’s preference and the media of the student’s creative work.

When do I have to have a computer?

VCD students purchase their Macintosh laptop prior to entering their first semester. The campus Apple Store is located in the Kent State Bookstore. Visit them online or reach them via phone at 330-672-1588. Students can also purchase their computers through the Education Store at Apple.com.

VCD Required Computer Purchase

Why do I have to have a Macintosh?

This platform is the industry standard, and our classroom instruction is based on Mac versions of the software. Unlike other disciplines requiring textbooks for each class in the major, VCD and Photo-Illustration students are required to purchase and use a laptop with graphic software for most of their studio work.